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British Marine Inland Boating

The BMIB annual conference saw several speakers presenting to a well attended engaging event held in the Graham Hick Stand at Worcester Cricket Club.

Speakers included the CRT, CafWin Cruisers, Barrus and others including our own MD Stuart Austin who was accompanied by Asha Siddique.

Stuart spoke about the impact of the sensationalist language chosen by the British media which can be misleading and misdirect the public. The British public is focussed on the property market and the cost of living so all news reports on these topics are sensitive and some of the reporting can be described as irresponsible.

The general economic outlook is going to be tougher than recent years but not insurmountable and open to question given the vast amount of economic factors that are used to provide forecasts, which are just that, forecasts and estimates. They are reknowned for being inaccurate.

The boating community may well be better prepared for an economic downturn and possibly insulated. The CRT provided estimates that 25% of inland boaters are continous cruisers and therefore likely to be live-aboards. We think the economic factors and lifestyle choices driving this market will remain strong.

Leisure boating, both inland and ocean motor boating may see a reduction in activity. If this happens then no doubt some boats will come on to the market for sale and if the boats for sale increase in great numbers then prices will fall. But there has been a shortage of boats for a few years now and new boats are still on long lead times. Any market correction we think will be small.

Business owners – hire boats, boat builders, chandleries, marinas and ourselves all need to beware of cash pressures affecting our customers and suppliers.

Be prepared, keep a close eye on the numbers and understand the market you are in. We all do that already right? But worth repeating this message.

Invest in your business, invest in your people and continue to market your strengths.

“Flat is Good”